All-female south Warwickshire line-up join the priesthood - The Leamington Observer

All-female south Warwickshire line-up join the priesthood

FOUR south Warwickshire vicars have just been ordained into the priesthood – and they’re all women.

Emma Harrington from Stratford, Cerys Smith from Leamington, Helen Smith from Wellesbourne and Julie Lindsay from Alcester were ordained at Coventry Cathedral on Sunday June 30.

They are among a total of 12 new priests who have already served as deacons for a year. Following their ordination as priests they will remain in their present parishes while their on-going training continues.

Emma is a curate in the parish of Stratford, serving in three churches – Holy Trinity, Stratford; St. Helen’s, Clifford Chambers; and All Saints’, Luddington.




Emma has enjoyed a breadth of ministry in the parish, from large civic occasions such as the annual Shakespeare service to pastoral encounters with individuals, from writing a new leaflet on serving in church to leading choral evensong for the first time. Although perhaps the most memorable is being asked to bless a box of onions on her way back from leading a service.

For the past year Cerys has been serving her curacy in the parishes of St Mary Magdalene’s, Lillington and St James, Old Milverton.


She has led services for an Advent community initiative and a Ukraine memorial service. She has brought Holy Communion to those who can’t get to church and regularly visited nursing homes, either singing hymns, or a service of Holy Communion.

Helen is a curate at Wellesbourne and Walton. Life as a deacon has involved ministering to her communities through baptisms and funerals, working with children and young people, and leading a wide variety of services from informal café-church style worship to Evensong.

Highlights have included the Crib and Christingle Service in St Peter’s on Christmas Eve, where the packed church enjoyed a puppet show from the young people.

Julie has been serving as a self-supporting minister in Alcester.

She has been part of new things happening in the Rural Hub and has also been involved in leading new missional and worshipping ventures.

She has received support from colleagues at the Ministry of Justice where she works as a chief operating officer and has recently taken up a chaplaincy post to a cross-civil service group for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

In her parishes, she has been involved in leading more pastoral services and has recently helped to lead marriage preparation across the deanery with some of the couples who she will marry later this summer.

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